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Who will take the final shot this year?
2008 STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
PIAA Basketball Playoff Brackets
Playoff Storylines by Bill Gaffey
1-"After the Ball is Over"-as the smoke clears and the 2008 PIAA Championship Season ends, there are some coaching accolades that should be noted: Kevin Bankos (York Catholic girls) has been a head coach for two years and has a record of 69-1 and two state championships; Paul Bhutto (Marian Catholic girls) has recorded over 700 wins and reached the state championship game four times before, but he now has the top prize in his pocket as well; Jim Dooley (Delone Catholic boys) recorded win #100 at his fourth school. He already had 100+ wins at Shippensburg, Cumberland Valley, and Gettysburg-now add Delone to the list; Fred Pickett (Chester) wins the 4-A State Championship for the third time and then announces his retirement in the locker room. He truly was one of the finest men in the game. We here at pahoops.org have worked with Coach Pickett on the Pennsylvania/Maryland All-Star Game and the Pennsylvania/Maryland Shootouts over the years and found him to be an outstanding credit to the sport. In 13 seasons, Pickett guided the Clippers to 331 victories, three PIAA Class AAAA titles, eight District One Class AAAA crowns, eight trips to the state final four and won 80.5 percent of his games during his career (331-80 overall).
Saturday--Jeannette (boys AA)
and Marian Catholic (girls A) were afternoon winners.
3-PIAA SHOULD ELIMINATE THE HANDSHAKE LINE
A fight broke out after Jeannette defeated North Catholic in the Class AA quarterfinal game. Evidently, verbal exchanges in the traditional handshake line now mandated in Pennsylvania helped lead to a melee in the hall after the game where players from both team were injured. The following excerpt is taken from the Mike White Pittsburgh Post Gazette article:
"Jeannette won the Class AA quarterfinal, 86-60, and the fight occurred in a hallway near the North Catholic locker room. The WPIAL will hold a hearing Tuesday with all parties involved in the incident, and WPIAL executive director Tim O'Malley acknowledged some of Jeannette's players could face disciplinary action that might affect their status for Wednesday's PIAA Class AA semifinal game. Long acknowledged some things said on the court by players during the game and in the handshake line might have played a part in the fight.
"Obviously, there were some exceptions to some things that were said upstairs [during the game and in the handshake line]," Long said. "Obviously, you're dealing with 18-year-olds who are highly emotional. It wasn't a pretty scene." Pryor said Joe Long, the son of North Catholic's coach and a junior forward, called him a name in the handshake line. Pryor was visibly upset and was held back by teammates from going toward North Catholic's team." (Complete Mike White article HERE)
I coached for 29 years that included seasons before the handshake line became mandatory and then during the seasons after the handshake line was mandatory. I never liked it because I saw too many times when it was only trouble waiting to happen. You can't play for 32 minutes with all out intensity, and then line up with no emotion and march off the court like "it was only a game." The sport did fine before this tradition was initiated and I feel it will do much better after the PIAA retires the idea. Don't create situations that help lead students into trouble. Give them a chance to leave the floor and let their emotions subside. The handshake tradition was only created by administrators to produce a "politically correct" ending for each game.
5-Will Chester and Norristown meet again? It is possible, but it would
come as the State Championship game. They are both in different
brackets and each would have to win 4 games to get there.
March 14, 15 State Championships, Bryce Jordan Center info HERE
PIAA Basketball Championship Information for 2008, HERE
Which were the Greatest Championship Performances by individual players, find our list- HERE
Which coaches have won the most State Championships, found HERE
March Madness: Pennsylvania Style, the first State Championship Tournament in 1920, HERE
The Pennsylvania Catholic State Tournaments from 1943 to 1973, HERE
Note: The Title Game was held 31 times in Hershey between the Giant
Center and Hersheypark Arena. It was also held for 15 years in Harrisburg
at the Farm Show Arena. The Title Game was held at the Palestra 21 times;
it was held at the Civic Arena (now Mellon Arena) 11 times; once at the Bryce
Jordan Center even though it was held in State College for the first nine years
at the old Armory. It is being held at the Bryce Jordan Center again this
year. Where is the best place to
hold the games?
Cast your vote in our poll!
PENNSYLVANIA STATE RATINGS BY MID
February 24, 2008
1. Chester (28-1) (District 1 AAAA)
The Clippers broke away in the fourth quarter for a 61-47 win over Norristown for the District 1 AAAA title. Karon Burton led with 22pts, Nasir Robinson added 18pts and Rahlir Jefferson scored 10pts. In the semifinals, Chester jumped on Penn Wood early leading 28-13 after the first quarter and then coasted through the middle periods and came away with a 74-52 victory. Burton led with 20pts, Russell Johnson had 18pts, Nasir Robinson had 13pts and Kevin Green-Germany had 11pts. Opens state tournament against Williamsport.
2. Reading (30-0) (District 3 AAAA)
Reading won their 19th district title when they defeated Central Dauphin East 63-51. The Knights went on a 7-0 run to finish the first half and take a 28-21 lead into the locker room. The lead than stayed between 7 and 13 the rest of the way. Jordan Burdine was high with 16pts, Jermaine Jackson had 12pts, 10rebs and Nelson Leon added 11pts. In the semifinals the Red Knights took a 22-11 first quarter lead then used their bench in a 61-38 win over Elizabethtown. Jordan Burdine scored a game-high 20pts and Jackson had 10pts. Opens state tournament against Souderton at Garden Spot High School.
3. Norristown (28-1) (District 1 AAAA)
In the semifinals the Eagles knocked off #2 Pennsbury 50-45 as Russell Graham had 16pts and Khalif Wyatt added 13pts. Then they stayed with Chester for three quarters, before being outscored 19-9 in the fourth in a 61-47 loss. Wyatt led with 21pts and Graham added 13pts. Opens state tournament against the #4 District 12 team, either John Bartram or Roxborough at a site TBA.
4. Pennsbury (27-2) (District 1 AAAA)
Captured 3rd place with a 61-51 win over Penn Wood. They trailed 43-41 after three quarters but used a 20-8 fourth to gain the win. Dalton Pepper led with 30pts and Marcus Healey added 14pts. Earlier the Falcons suffered their first loss in Pennsylvania when they were beaten in the semifinals by undefeated Norristown, 50-45. Pepper was held to only 15pts and was the only Pennsbury player in double-figures. Opens state tournament against Red Land @ Coatesville High School.
5. Philadelphia Roman Catholic (17-5) (Philadelphia Catholic League)
Roman will be idle until March 13, 14 & 15 when they play in the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament in Cumberland, Maryland.
6. Philadelphia Communications Tech (26-3) (Phila. Public League-District 12 AAA)
The Phoenix defeated AA champion Strawberry Mansion, 68-62, in the Public League semifinals. Shaquille Shannon had 24pts to lead, Chris Jones had 14pts and Emanuel Jordan added 12pts. Then had to go double-overtime to defeat AAAA champ, Frankford, 77-73. They had beaten Frankford 71-54 in January. Opens AAA state tournament against Lancaster Catholic @ South Philadelphia High.
7. Philadelphia Strawberry Mansion (19-5) (Philadelphia Public League-District 12 AA) In the Philadelphia Public League semifinals the Knights lost to AAA champion, Communications Tech 68-62. Dwayne Davis led with 23pts, Isaac Bradford had 15pts, Eddie Frazier had 13pts, and Devon White had 10pts. Now opens AA state tournament against Columbia @ South Philadelphia High.
8. Philadelphia Imhotep Charter (24-3) (Philadelphia Public League-District 12 AA)
The Panthers did not play. They open PIAA AA play against Northern Lehigh @ Parkland
9. Pittsburgh Central Catholic (23-4) (District 7 WPIAL AAAA)
Central Catholic won the title by overcoming a seven-point deficit with 50+ seconds left to gain a 55-54 victory over Moon. Matt McKenna (14pts) hit a long three with 1.1 second left for the come from behind win. Lucas Mickens also scored 14pts and Evan Tsudis added 13pts. In the semifinals the Vikings avenged two regular season losses and defeated McKeesport 53-46. Mickens, Tsudis and Brandon Sams all scored 11pts and McKenna scored 10pts. Now opens AAAA state tournament against the winner of the Pittsburgh Brashear-Franklin Regional winner @ Plum High School.
10. Pittsburgh Schenley (25-2) (Pittsburgh City-District 8 AAAA)
Deandre Kane had one of the finest games in City championship history as he scored 35pts, pulled down 12rebs and shot 7-of-11 from 3-point range to lead the Spartans to a 72-63 victory over Pittsburgh Brashear to win their fourth consecutive title and their 76th consecutive win over City League teams. Greg Blair added 21pts. Now opens AAAA state tournament against McKeesport @ Pittsburgh Allderdice High in what is probably the toughest opening game in all of AAAA.
11. McKeesport (19-4) (District 7 WPIAL AAAA)
The Tigers lost in the semifinals to Pittsburgh Central Catholic 53-46 after having beaten the Vikings twice during the regular season. Devon Alexander led with 14pts, Quentin Harding had 10pts and Zeke Marshall had 10pts and 9blks. Now opens AAAA state tournament against Pittsburgh Schenley @ Pittsburgh Allderdice High in what is probably the toughest opening game in all of AAAA.
12. Philadelphia North Catholic (21-5) (Philadelphia Catholic League)
The Falcons defeated St. Joseph’s Prep 52-41 in the Catholic League semifinals and will play Archbishop Ryan for the championship on Monday. A 17-5 fourth quarter gave North Catholic the win. Lenny Young led with 25pts and Xavier Harris had 10pts.
13. Susquehanna Township (28-2) (District 3 AAA)
In the District 3 championship game, the Indians fell behind Steel-High 25-11 in the middle of the second quarter but fought back to trail only 25-23 at the half. The game stayed close till the end. Steel-High tied the game at 54-54 with just under 6 seconds left when Ben Dupree took the inbounds passed and raced halfway down the floor and let go a long three at the buzzer that hit nothing but net to give Susquehanna a revenge 57-54 victory and the title. Matt Jones scored 14pts to lead and Dupree and Akeem Wilson both had 12pts. In one of the all-time District 3 classic games, Susquehanna Township defeated Greencastle-Antrim 93-85 in four (4) overtimes. Greg Edwards had 25pts to lead four players in double-figures. Jones had 19pts, Wilson had 15pts and Tajah Turner added 10pts. Opens AAA state tournament against Dallas @ Hersheypark Arena.
14. Steelton-Highspire (23-6) (Distict 3 AAA)
The Rollers lost the District final to Susquehanna Township on a buzzer beater, 57-54. Lance Chisholm led with 19pts and Jordan Smith had 17pts. In the semifinals, Steel-High went on a 16-0 first-quarter run and took control and blasted Daniel Boone 85-50. Josh Proctor had game-highs of 23pts and 17rebs, Chisholm had 20pts and Smith added 12pts. Opens AAA state tournament against Johnstown @ Hersheypark Arena.
15. Philadelphia Prep Charter (17-7) (Philadelphia Public League-District 12 AA)
The Huskies season if over, but with no seniors on the team expect to be a powerhouse next year and try to win their third PIAA AA state title in four years.
16. Jeannette (20-4) (District 7 WPIAL AA)
Avenged an earlier 83-64 loss to Beaver Falls with an 82-68 victory for the WPIAL AA championship and moves into Top 20 for first time this year. Terrell Pryor had the greatest all-around performance in WPIAL championship history as he scored 39pts, ripped down 24rebs, had 10blks and added 6 assists. All this against a team that had beaten the Jayhawks by 20pts earlier in the season. Beaver Falls actually led 35-32 at the half and the game was tied 52-52 heading into the final quarter. Jordan Hall added 19pts, including 12 in the fourth quarter. In the semifinals, the Jayhawks defeated Pittsburgh Bishop Canevin 62-54. Hall led the way with 21pts and Pryor had 19pts, 12rebs, 7 assists and 4blks. Now opens AA state tournament against Kane @ Hempfield Area High School.
17. Beaver Falls (22-4) (District 7 WPIAL AA)
Beaver Falls was tied at 52-52 heading into the final 8-minutes but were overwhelmed in the fourth and lost to Jeannette 82-68. Todd Thomas led with 25pts and 7rebs. In the semifinals the Tigers were too quick and athletic for Pittsburgh North Catholic claiming a 67-58 victory. Thomas led with 23pts and David Phillips had 16pts. Now opens AA state tournament against Farrell @ New Castle High School.
18. Central Dauphin East (23-5) (District 3 AAAA)
The Panthers lost in the championship game to Reading 63-51 despite 23pts from Quion Gunning, while Demond Bates had 14pts. In the semifinals, East got their third win of the season over Harrisburg 45-39 as they broke away in the final minutes for the win. Jonathan Bredden led with 18pts and Bates added 14pts. Now opens AAAA state tournament against Northampton @ Hersheypark Arena.
19. Philadelphia Frankford (21-5) (Philadelphia Public League-District 12 AAAA)
Comes into Top 20 for the first time after a strong showing in the Public League playoffs winning the AAAA title then forcing AAA champion, Communications Tech into double-overtime before losing 77-73. Three of their losses came to CT twice and #18 Central Dauphin East. They won the AAAA title with an 81-76 victory over Philadelphia Southern. The Pioneers scored 28 of the game’s final 40 points to gain the title. Malik Tinsley led with 27pts and 14rebs. Khayree Brown had 14pts, Dehaven Brown 12pts and Malik Ballard and Steven Haynes both added 10pts. Now opens AAAA state tournament against Ridley @ South Philadelphia High.
20. Erie McDowell (25-2) (District 10 AAAA)
The Trojans won the District 10 AAAA title with a 64-50 victory over Erie Cathedral Prep. Zach Spronatti scored a game-high 28pts to lead McDowell. Then opened PIAA AAAA play with a 57-45 victory over Altoona in a play in game. Jason Keim led with 17pts, Dillon Loomis had 14pts and Ryan Skellie added 10pts. Now goes into the Round of 32 against Norwin @ McComb Fieldhouse, Edinboro University.
(Credits: Burton photo courtesy Dave Burman; Hoosiers movie clip courtesy http://www.sportshollywood.com/hoosiers.html)
Playoff Coverage --stories HERE
(Photo: Karon Burton, plays for Chester, the 4-A favorite)
The complete PIAA Basketball Playoff brackets available here in the PDF format in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review